The holidays present a time of fun, exciting get-togethers, but sleep is often unwillingly ignored throughout December into the new year. More after-work activities and rushing around buying up gifts can wear on energy levels. That being said, I’ve compiled 5 tried and true methods for snoozing better when stacking Zs can be elusive on the weekends. Make time for yourself into 2008, be good to your body and you can be sure it will return the favor in folds.

1 - Clear your mind of anxious thoughts

Anxiety is a leading cause of lack of sleep, worldwide. If there are indeed things on your mind, write them down to deal with later. Bad dreams and waking up more than once during the night are signs of not properly clearing one’s head before bed. Deal with worldly thoughts during the day and focus on your goal of rest at night; don’t let them overlap.

2 - Take deep breaths to relax

I swear by this. No matter the situation, in bed or out, deep breathing exercises will always help in calming down.

3 - Rid your bedroom of televisions

Your place of rest should be a personal sanctuary where sleep is the main and only focus. A TV set detracts from this and should be left in a room such as the living space. Orient the objects/furniture in your bedroom to create maximum relaxation and convenience. For more on this, familiarize yourself with Feng Shui.

4 - 20 minute rule in full effect

If you crawl into bed and find that 20 minutes later you’re not asleep, it’s time to read a book or visit the kitchen for a cup of decaf tea. Watching TV or surfing the ‘net on a computer will not help to relax the mental state, so avoid these. It’s all about decompressing analog, not digital.

5 - Let the sun be your alarm clock

Your body has what’s referred to as a “biological clock”. The cycle of the night and sunrise are fantastic tools to align your body’s schedule to. By waking up with the sun on Saturday and Sunday, you’ll arise more naturally and feel increasingly rested each morning. Sleeping in ’til 2pm will induce a groggy, zombie-like state, guaranteed.

No matter how hectic work and personal lives may get around holiday festivities, we need sleep, because without it we cannot properly recharge our bodies and minds. Enjoy the rest of 2007 but consistently make an effort to employ these 5 methods for resting smarter on the week’s end.